In one sense, I have achieved my goal for this project. I have completed a full story arc in this book. Wanderer boasts an impressive 115 pages and is far and above better than her inspiration Traveller, the characters are bigger badder bolder faster more philosophically correct? Yes.
To put this in perspective, the last two books I wrote–Horsemann and Chylde–were both well over 150 pages (Chylde was 177 while Horsemann clocked in at 181), one part, and took five drafts each. Total. This is only half a book and already it has taken me three times more drafts than either of them.
This book has definitely been much more difficult than anything I have done before for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most pressing matter is that the characters in this book are characters that I had not used in over a year, and that when I did work with them, it was under the assumption I would never write with them again. As a result, none of them were very well developed, and I never got very comfortable writing with them. I also wrote two totally unrelated books in between Traveller and Wanderer, which only alienated me from the characters and concepts. It took a while to get back in the swing of things.
In addition to this, the research necessary for these books took–takes–a lot of time and effort. Before I can make believable characters based on philosophical concepts, I have to understand these concepts, and that in itself is a process that can take years. I do not have years. I have to understand these concepts well enough to make characters that capture the distinguishing characteristics of these philosophies in a likable manner (as likable as possible, anyway).
Then of course, there’s the research on the time periods themselves, which is fine when it’s an area with lots of records (1920s Paris), but not in areas where there aren’t (12th century Kongo), or in areas where facts are scarce but people have very set ideas on how they think it was like (1st century Jerusalem). I try and make things as historically accurate as possible, which means researching the big things (who was in charge at this time? Political intrigue? What were some major events?) and the little things (did they have 2-story buildings in the 1st century? What did Egyptian beer taste like? Did Romans wear underwear?).
But Part I is done! Huzzah! One full story arc, completed. One more to go. Thanks for reading, kids, and I’ll see you in the future.